Category Archives: Dyndns

DynDNS will discontinue free DNS service on May 7, 2014 – here are some alternatives

A little over two years ago, DynDNS took the first steps toward discontinuing their Free DNS service, and now they have announced that it’s really coming to an end for most users. In the 2012 article linked above, the following alternatives were mentioned:

Those that have replaced their router’s firmware with DD-WRT have the option to use DynDNS.org, freedns.afraid.org, ZoneEdit.com, No-IP.com, 3322.org, easyDNS.com, TZO.com, and DynSIP.org (or you can use another “custom” service).

Dynamic DNS service selections in DD-WRT
As time rolls on, the list of available free DNS services changes, but it seems like there are always plenty of choices. Since that 2012 announcement we’ve used the one at freedns.afraid.org and have been quite happy with it. But you want more choices, you say? Then check out this article:

Best Free Dynamic DNS Services (Updated 2014) (GNU Tomorrow)

Just remember that if you want to use a free DNS service, you need to sign up for one of those alternatives before the May 7 cutoff date, preferably long enough before that you have the time to update any configurations that specify the DynDNS address. Don’t put it off until you realize that your dynamic address will be no longer functional in just a few hours, or worse yet, has already ceased to function!

Related:
Dyn Decided To Stop Offering Free Accounts for Dynamic DNS (Dyn)
Dyn discontinues free DynDNS service to clean up its DDNS network (Ars Technica)
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month (The Register)

DynDNS (mostly) discontinues free DNS service

 

Important
This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on a blog called The Michigan Telephone Blog, which was written by a friend before he decided to stop blogging. It is reposted with his permission. Comments dated before the year 2013 were originally posted to his blog.

Dynamic DNS service selections in DD-WRTOver the years, many people have used DynDNS as a way to get a free domain name that will “track” their actual IP address, even if their ISP changes it.  Apparently that free ride has all but come to an end.  If you read the instructions that How-To Geek posted in their article How To Easily Access Your Home Network From Anywhere With DDNS, you will note that when you go to the DynDNS site now, it looks nothing like it did then, and the totally free option seems to have disappeared.

Apparently if you have an existing DynDNS account you can keep it as long as you don’t let it expire, but if you do let it expire or if you are trying to set up a new DynDNS account for yourself or someone else, the free option is no longer shown. It appears that now the only way to get a free DynDNS account is to sign up for a 14-day DynDNS Pro Free Trial and then cancel it before the free trial period is up. Then, “You may keep one hostname free of charge for trying the Pro Trial.” The problem with this is that you have to provide a major credit card to sign up for the trial. This will be a show stopper for many users (it definitely takes DynDNS off my list of recommended services).

I had recommended using DynDNS in my article, Using DynDNS to solve the problem of keeping a firewall open to remote users at changeable IP addresses. Now I sort of wish I had recommended someone else.

Some home routers support several Dynamic DNS services, and one of the most popular is No-IP. My guess is that they will be the main beneficiary of the decision by DynDNS to make their free service less accessible. I think they have been around nearly as long as DynDNS (if not longer) and I’ve not heard anything negative about them, so I now recommend you check out No-IP in preference to DynDNS, unless you enjoy having to give up your credit card information and then having to remember to cancel a “free trial” within an allotted timeframe.

To those router manufacturers that only offer DynDNS as a DDNS option, please consider adding No-IP (and maybe a few others) as a DDNS option in your next firmware upgrade.  Those that have replaced their router’s firmware with DD-WRT have the option to use DynDNS.org, freedns.afraid.org, ZoneEdit.com, No-IP.com, 3322.org, easyDNS.com, TZO.com, and DynSIP.org (or you can use another “custom” service). I do not know if all of those have a free service offering but I believe that most of them do. So, commercial router manufacturers could offer options other than DynDNS, and I hope they’ll consider doing so.